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Full text of "Mind's Eye April 1979"

he Mind's Eye 



Volume 3 Number 2 



NORTH ADAMS STATE COLLEGE 



The Mind's Eye is a journal of review and comment 
published six times during fhe college year 
at North Adams, Massachusetts 01247 



April H79 

EDITORIAL BOARD 

W. Anthony Gengorelly 
Stephen A. Green 
R. Michael Haines 
Charles Mclsaac 
Thomas A. Mulkeen 
Ellen Sch.ff 

EDITOR 

Charles Mclsaac 



Robert Bence 3 HUMAN RIGHTS AND U.S. FOREIGN POLICY 
TOWARD THE LESS DEVELOPED COUNTRIES 
Human rights in the Third World is above all 
a matter of the right to life. Liberty 
and the pursuit of happiness must wait. 
The first of two parts. 



VERSE 



Whiteford Cole 



7 BOSTON 

North End 
Vecchia 



REVIEWS 



Charles Mclsaac 



The Periodical Press 
THE AUTUMN GAME, concluded. 
Football does not build character, 
it reveals character. 



DEPARTMENTS 



W. Anthony Gengarelly 



The Editor's File 

BEASTS AND GERMS: THE ROOTS OF PREJUDICE 
Liberal education's role in removing the fear 
that makes nonpersons of fellow humans. 



Contributors 



The next issue of the Mind's Eye will appear in May. 
Contributions are welcome. 



2 



The Editor's File 

BEASTS AND GERMS : THE ROOTS OF PREJUDICE 
by W. Anthony Gengarelly 



Testifying before the House Rules Commit- 
tee in 1920, Attorney General A. Mitchell 
Palmer depicted alien Americans in bestial 
metaphors: "Out of their sly and crafty 
eyes . . . leap cupidity, insanity and 
crime; from their lopsided faces, sloping 
brows, and misshapen features may be 
recognized the unmistakable criminal 
type." Palmer was making a case for the 
government's unconstitutional suppression 
of the immigrant population. To reinforce 
his assertions, the Attorney General com- 
pared the foreign-born to lethal germs, 
their presence an infestation to be con- 
fined and eliminated lest it "fester and 
breed in the tissues of our organism 
against the day of hoped for opportunity 
to attack the body politic in a virulence 
redoubled a hundredfold." 

Quite simply, Palmer was depersonalizing 
very real human beings — equating them 
with beasts and germs — so that he might 
justify their illegal and unjust suppres- 
sion. In a classic study of demagoguery, 
Prophets of Deceit , Leo Lowenthal and 
Norman Guterman relate that such deper- 
sonalization is a necessary precondition 
for the demand that one group or another 
be forcibly repressed. Once people are 
metaphorically banished from the human 
community, violent actions against them 
are more easily advocated and undertaken. 
Stereotyped analogies enable us to 
slaughter enemies without guilt and to 
persecute social and political outcasts 
with impunity. 

When human rights are an important feature 
of U.S. foreign policy and when anti- 
Semitism rears its ugly head on our own 
campus, we should be asking how we might, 
through education, break down the lethal 
stereotypes, the prejudicial associations 
which legitimize wars of genocide on the 
one hand and ethnic slurs oij the other. 
An ethnic slur is, of course, not always 
readily convertible into an act of repres- 
sion, but the seed is planted, later to 



flower in the proper set of anxiety- 
provoking circumstances. 

How then do we educate? Harold Taylor, 
former president of Sarah Lawrence 
College, has said that the free and self- 
reliant individual will be less apt to 
convert the strange and unaccepted into a 
depersonalized epithet, be less likely to 
view people in terms of prejudicial pre- 
suppositions. He will "respond to other 
people and other ideas different from his 
own, rather then reacting against them;" 
he will "accept differences as natural 
rather than as a threat to himself and 
his whole style of life." To be free and 
self-reliant, Taylor wrote, the individual 
"must know a great deal, must be sensitive 
to a wide variety of experiences, and must 
have enough confidence in his own judgment 
to assert it and to learn how to correct 
it through further experience." 

In other words, Harold Taylor is saying 
that a liberal education is basic : it is 
essential for the development of an in- 
dividual's freedom and self-confidence. 
Even at North Adams State College where 
career education remains an important 
priority, we cannot afford to overlook 
this admonition to educate broadly and 
widely. The student must be given time 
and opportunity to explore a variety of 
philosophies and lifestyles, must have 
the chance to encounter other viewpoints 
and to measure his own ideas against 
traditional formulas. An important goal 
should be the encouragement of a quality 
of openness in students so that they will 
be more freely receptive and thereby see 
others in less predetermined categories. 
An informed perception will then replace 
the provincial ignorance which views 
difference as strange and threatening. 
Prom this the student will derive enough 
confidence to overcome the warped stereo- 
types that too often lead to deperson- 
alization, dehumanization , and ultimately 
to pogroms. 



3 

HUMAN RIGHTS AND U.S. FOREIGN POLICY TOWARD THE LESS DEVELOPED COUNTRIES 



by Robert Bence 



Introduction 

The following two-part essay is partially 
a result of my reactions to spending last 
summer in one of the world's poorest 
countries, the Sudan, While there I had 
the opportunity to interact with Sudanese 
of all classes, and to a limited extent I 
occasionally was able to catch glimpses of 
what it must be like to live in a tradi- 
tional African culture. I became more 
aware of the complex web that contributes 
to poverty. 

Sudanese elites whom I met expressed 
pleasure regarding President Carter's 
human rights statements but were confused 
as to their meaning and implications. I 
shared this confusion and have since been 
rethinking questions of what human rights 
should mean and how they can be promoted. 
The following essay is my attempt to 
clarify my thoughts in this area. 



Part One 

Although human rights is not a new topic, 
President Carter's presidential campaign 
and subsequent foreign policy statements 
and initiatives have made it relevant to 
the discussions of contemporary world 
politics. The words "human rights" are 
politically appealing and powerful 
symbolic rhetoric that can be used by both 
statesmen and politicians to promote and 
demote policies. Let us assume that our 
leaders, and most of us citizens, desire 
a world where human rights are paramount 
and that we want to do what is "right" for 
the peoples of the world. We can then 
proceed to address two central questions. 
What are human rights? How can they be 
promoted in the context of U.S. foreign 
policy toward the less developed nations? 

The difficulties involved in defining 
human rights are illustrated by the 
development of the concept in United 
Nations' pronouncements. Tn 1948 the 



United Nations General Assembly adopted 
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 
A nonbinding document, it included the 
following political and civil rights: the 
right to life, liberty, and the security 
of the person; freedom from torture, 
arbitrary arrest and detention; freedom 
from slavery; the right to a fair trial 
and to equality before the law; the 
presumption of innocence until guilt is 
proven; the right not to be subjected to 
retroactive laws; freedom of movement 
within one's state and freedom to leave it 
and return to it; the right of asylum and 
of nationality; the right to found a 
family; the right of privacy and the right 
to own property; the right to freedom of 
religion, opinion, and expression; freedom 
of assembly; and the right to self-govern- 
ment through elections. Also included in 
the declaration were social, economic, and 
cultural rights such as: the right to 
social security and to work; the right to 
form and join trade unions; the right to 
an adequate standard of living, to 
education, to rest and leisure; and the 
right to participate in the cultural life 
of the community. 

If this declaration sounds Western- 
oriented, it may be because Eleanor 
Roosevelt chaired the commission which 
produced the document and because It was 
accepted at a time when the United States 
dominated the UN. The process of defining 
human rights has usually been attended by 
conflicting interpretations filtered 
through varying ideological and 
ethnocentric perception screens. This 
ideological bias is further evidenced by 
the abstentions in the vote for adoption 
by the USSR and the Eastern European 
countries. In the West, human rights has 
an Individualistic slant, civil rights and 
civil liberties being in large part a 
product of a rising middle class seeking 
"freedom" to pursue materialistic wealth. 
Liberal democracy and capitalism grew up 
together. Perception of what constitutes 
human rights varies according to political 
culture. 



4 



As the United Nations' membership list 
expanded to include the newly independent 
poor nations, other covenants were added 
to the declaration that prescinded from 
the ideals of the U.S. Bill of Rights in 
order to reflect the desire of the Third 
World leaders for self-determination and 
the right to deal with questions of 
national wealth and resources in a manner 
based on a principle of equitable 
distribution. Although the U.S. Senate 
failed to ratify the additional covenants 
due to an uncertainty about their 
implications, President Carter has signed 
them and is lobbying for their senatorial 
approval. The administration has also 
taken the position that basic so-called 
"rights of the person" are as important as 
civil and political rights or social, 
economic, and cultural rights. To a large 
extent, this concern reflects our deeply 
ingrained belief in the concept of 
individualism. These rights of the person 
are elaborated in the International 
Security Assistance and Arms Control Act 
of 1976 which states that the U.S. is to 
oppose "gross violations of inter- 
nationally recognized human rights," 
including "torture or cruel, inhuman, 
or degrading treatment or punishment, 
prolonged detention without charges and 
trial, and other flagrant denials of the 
right to life, liberty, or the security of 
the person." For U.S. officials, however, 
flagrant denial of the right to life 
usually refers to arbitrary executions or 
genocide or other such "acts of 
commission." This does not include "sins 
of omission" such as inadequate food 
supplies or high infant mortality rates. 
By State Department standards, security of 
the person does not generally include 
freedom from starvation, and this is one 
of the key difficulties that confronts 
U.S. policy makers who attempt to apply 
human rights criteria to government 
policies in developing countries. Our 
view of human rights is understandably 
colored by our liberal democratic 
traditions and our position of relative 
affluence. 

According to U.S. State Department 
calculations, more than 15 million 
children die each year from malnutrition, 
700 million people suffer from 



malnutrition, and 1.2 billion are without 
access to potable water. The survival 
problems of people in the poorest 
countries are unimaginable for most of us. 
Although one can propose well-developed 
philosophical arguments condemning the 
lack of freedom for well-fed slaves, it is 
difficult for me to deny that the right to 
sustenance is the primary human right to 
which all people should be entitled. 
Starvation should be an unacceptable 
condition for proponents of human rights. 
The sad conditions of extreme poverty 
which create misery in much of Africa and 
Asia need to be addressed if we are 
concerned about the fate of the world's 
peoples . 

But how should we address this lack of 
basic human rights? The key concept in 
promoting all human rights — economic, 
political, and individual — is economic 
development. Affluence does not guarantee 
liberalism, as evidenced by the Soviet 
Union, but there is a strong correlation 
in most developed countries between wealth 
and political freedom. While we should 
certainly be concerned with political 
repression in places like Korea and Chile, 
as well as in many other authoritarian 
countries that receive U.S. foreign aid, 
the problems of overcoming subsistence- 
level living (in many cases, just reaching 
subsistence level) in the Fourth World 
nations should have a high priority. 

In the next installment to this essay I 
will explore the options open to our 
government in promoting human rights and 
suggest some specific initiatives for 
implementing a human-rights-based foreign 
policy. 



The Periodical Press 

THE AUTUMN GAME 



Part Two 



"I am now a junior at Choctaw High 
School and I have played football for 
six years. I have suffered no serious 



5 



injuries on the field, but I've seen 
and given out a few. . . . If a coach 
tells me to center the ball and pro- 
tect the quarterback, well, I'm going 
to block the guy in front of me any 
way I can. If that means I've got to 
crab-block him or throw a forearm to 
his windpipe, I'm going to do just 
that, because he's going to try to do 
the same. If I get the chance to 
tackle a fleet back, I'm going to put 
my face mask in his numbers so hard 
that I hope he never gets up. Some 
day I hope to teach the way I play. 
Stick it to him before he sticks 
you!" — David Deaton, Choctaw, Okla. 

"I have been playing organized foot- 
ball since I was 8. I have watched as 
the spear, butt and spike have 
replaced the shoulder block and 
tackle. A week ago, while engaging in 
a drill during a practice session with 
the semipro Baltimore Warriors, I was 
the recipient of a "spear" to the head 
that was delivered with such force 
that my own helmet shattered into 
three pieces. Fortunately, I was not 
injured. Since then, 1 have read 
Underwood's article and seen a tape of 
the tragic, though legal, hit by Jack 
Tatum on Darryl Stingley. I retired 
from the Warriors yesterday. Come 
September, my 8-year-old son will be 
playing soccer." — George M. Church, 
Baltimore. (Ed. Note. Darryl Sting- 
ley, star end of the New England 
Patriots, was paralyzed, possibly for 
life, by a helmet-hit in a preseason 
game last summer.) 

These are two readers' responses to John 
Underwood's three-part analysis of brutal- 
ity in football, "An Unfolding Tragedy" 
( Sports Illustrated , August 14, 21, 28), 
an amply documented examination of the 
ills of what he calls America's proto- 
typical sport. 

The autumn game ended its 1978 season on 
January 21, 1979, in Superbowl XIII in 
drizzly Miami where the Pittsburgh 
Steelers became champions of. the National 
Football League by beating the Dallas 
Cowboys, 35-31. The game was very 
physical (the current buzz-word for dirty) 



and liberal "punishment" was meted out by 
both sides. Despite the close score, it 
was not a close game. The single "play" 
that enabled outclassed Dallas to stay 
within striking distance was an oddity 
that occurred in the second quarter. A 
slow whistle allowed linebacker Thomas 
Henderson to strip Bradshaw's arms from 
behind and let teammate Mike Hegman snatch 
the ball and run for a touchdown. This 
was not a play: it was brute force and 
humiliation and cowardice (You hold him 
and I'll rob him) the kind of thing which 
football, from sandlot to superbowl, has 
become . 

The slow whistle is arguable. The plain 
fact is not. Henderson had stopped Brad- 
shaw's forward progress and an honest 
bear hug would have meant that the play 
was over. The arm-stripping and ball 
larceny were touches of thuggery which 
demean sportsmanship, whatever that 
glorious term may signify in these latter 
days when football has become a junior 
version of World War II. Harland Svare on 
pro football: "This isn't the game I grew 
up with on the Giants. This is a cruel, 
win-at-any-price thing, without 
fellowship . " 

Underwood hangs his case on injuries — 
fatal injuries, crippling injuries, and 
injuries with long-term effects — and he 
divides the blame among equipment, 
principally the helmet; disregard for 
rules, inadequacy of rules, and 
nonen for cement of rules; and the use of 
drugs to enhance performance. Coaches and 
players excuse injuries because they are a 
"part of the game." They certainly are. 
Incredible as it sounds, the number of 
injured projected by surveys for the 1978 
season were one million high school 
players, 70,000 college players, and 100% 
of the 1,300 players in the National Foot- 
ball league. In the actual event, approx- 
imately 200 NFL players were lost to 
injuries for the season-~more than one in 
seven. In the California high schools 
injuries have quadrupled school liability 
insurance costs, bringing on a financial 
crisis that could bankrupt them. 

A spear is a blow with the helmet. In one 
play in the superbowl, Steeler linebacker 



6 



Jack Lambert came through the Dallas line 
on a blitz. A Cowboy blocker moved over, 
head down, and spiked him in the midsec- 
tion with his helmet. Lambert crumpled. 
That was a spear. Luckily, Lambert was 
not hurt and he stayed in the game. Hot 
so lucky is Darrell Stingley in his 
hospital bed. 

The helmet is three pounds-plus of poly- 
carbonate, styrene, and leather honey- 
combed with pods of rubber, water, foam, 
or antifreeze. First introduced in 1939 
as a safety device, it gradually became a 
weapon. The head is used as a battering 
ram in butt-blocking, butt-tackling, 
diving into pileups, and late-hitting a 
fallen running back. It is used 
especially against the quarterback and 
most especially in the vulnerable moment 
just after he has released the ball. Dan 
Pastorini, his ribs badly bruised, put on 
a flak jacket inflated with air for the 
Houston Oilers' playoff game with the New 
England Patriots. It worked so well he 
is going to wear it permanently. 

The helmet is aimed at heads, spines, 
ribs, kidneys, and knees. At the Univer- 
sity of North Carolina a five-year study 
of college players found that 29% of the 
most serious injuries resulted from hard- 
shell helmet blows causing brain and 
spinal cord damage, broken ribs, ruptured 
spleens, and bruised kidneys. Ironically, 
the helmet wielders become themselves 
victims: a study at the University of 
Iowa revealed that 32% of incoming fresh- 
man football players had hitherto undetec- 
ted neck injuries. 

The object of this and other forms of 
violence is to win the game by retiring 
your best opponents to the dressing room 
or the hospital. Are there rules to 
prevent this kind of behavior? Of course. 
And officials, club owners, and coaches 
assert that, by and large, the rules are 
faithfully observed. Art McHally, 
director of game officials, cites studies 
to prove that only 1% of injuries occur in 
illegal plays. The inference is that the 
great majority of players keep the rules. 
Whether they do and whether officials 
scrupulously call rules infractions are 
questions of fact. Granted they do, the 



fact that 99% of injuries take place in 
legitimate circumstances is proof that the 
rules neither protect players from injury 
nor promote sportsmanship in football. 

Who said, It is not whether you won or 
lost, but how you played the game that 
counts? Poor sentimentalist, his noble 
thought was made to seem foolish by the 
late Vincent Lombardi's code, "Winning is 
not everything, it is the only thing." To 
win, today's players (and coaches) use all 
sorts of physical and psychological skul- 
duggery: chop-blocking and downfield 
blocking below the waist (both aimed at 
the fragile knees) , gang-tackling (known 
as pursuit) , unloading on pass receivers 
("to make them think") , clubbing with 
taped forearms, stepping on hands, 
standing over an injured player and 
uttering profane language, pointing 
insults, taunts, intimidation, verbal 
abuse of officials. 

The quarterback remains the fairest game. 
He suffers one-seventh of all significant 
injuries. In 1978 Tarkenton had his face 
ripped open requiring 64 stitches; he was 
back the next Sunday. Baltimore's Bert 
Jones went out for the season. Pastorini 
sustained three cracked ribs. Griese was 
hampered by injuries. Staubach was 
injured. Bradshaw was injured. Tommy 
Kramer went to the hospital. Cincinnati's 
Ken Anderson was forced out for a while 
by intentional injury. Grogan, the 
Patriot leader, started the Houston play- 
off game injured and left after the first 
half, when the game seemed out a reach. 
In real war we haven't yet got around to 
"taking out" the enemy generals. But in 
the ersatz combat of football it is de 
rigueur. "A rookie quarterback! It's like 
letting me into a candy store!" drooled a 
San Diego lineman to Dr. Arnold Mandell a 
few seasons back. 

The player who said that, "one of the 
sweetest guys on the defensive teams," had 
just taken his accustomed game-dose of 
amphetamines. This from Mandell, a drug 
expert, former president of the Society 
for Biological Psychiatry, who freely 
joined the San Diego Chargers in 1973 to 
help with their drug problem, then wrote 
a book, The Nig htmare Season , and got 



7 



BOSTON 

by Whiteford Cole 




NORTH END 

See the olive oil from Calabria in red and gold tins, 

spiced sausages hanging intestinally, 

dried cod stacked like cordwood, 

bouquets of oregano, sage, and basil, 

kegs of black olives swimming in brine, 

squid, octopus, thighs of prosciutto 

at Grassano's Produce Store. 

Bands of men gesticulate on corners, 

while couples toy in the Cantina Italiana. 

And Joe Rezuto the bookie cruises by, 

turquoise Rolls, cigar-smiling,, 

and a bleached secretary. 

Mafioso, they say, 

mainstay of the Cardinal's charities, 
he sends American dollars 
to people back home. 



VECCHIA 

Black-dressed crone perched on a doorstep 

while tourists stroll by to Paul Revere 's house 

and hoods make book at the Cafe Paradiso , 

your leathered face frames eyes 

suspicious like a senile falcon's, 

and whiskered lips twitch without sound. 

Did that fly-buzzed head once, singing, bear 

baskets of fat grapes from Sicilian earth, 

while bare feet danced a younger body 

along sun-parched roads haunted by gods, 

and you wondered if tonight 

it would be Turi or Lorenzo after mass? 



8 



prosecuted for his trouble. A game-dose 
is as much as 150 milligrams — 30 pills — in 
one gulp. Anyone familiar with the "high" 
induced by moderate doses of amphetamines 
known as diet pills, antidepressants, pep 
pills, or uppers will marvel or shudder at 
the imagined effact of such massive 
ingestion. The result, according to Dr. 
Mandell, is a prepsychotic paranoid rage 
state, a five-hour temper tantrum during 
which any manner of injury may justifiably 
be inflicted on the "bad guys" by the 
"good guys." Fear reigns on the gridiron 
on sunny Sunday afternoons. 

Says Mandell, "A drug agony rages, silent 
as a plague, through the body of profes- 
sional football." One Charger told him 
that the difference between a star and a 
superstar is the difference between a dose 
and a superdose. The degree of use is 
regulated by function. Quarterbacks take 
hardly any because they need the adaptive 
capacity which drugs inhibit. Running 
backs and wide receivers take only small 
doses. The heaviest users are defensive 
linemen, the appointed punishers of the 
opposing offense. As players grow older, 
they get hooked: they need the job and 
the big money, and they have to use drugs 
to perform. Said one, "I've got three 
kids, a home. ..." 

One would prefer to see them on the field 
in their right minds. Sam Huff, defensive 
back with the New York Giants in the 1950s 
and 1960s, whose name was synonymous with 
the roughest play in the league, admits he 
tried amphetamines twice — and got thrown 
out of both games for hitting late. "I 
thought I was playing great," he said. 
Huff in his right mind was a violent man. 
But he was real. He knew pain. The 
doped-up athlete does not, and this makes 
him dangerous. Mandell maintains that 
drugs are the principal cause of late and 
nasty hits, which are in turn a prime 
source of serious injuries. Drug use, 
mind you, has long since spread to college 
and high school teams. 

Despite the evidence — and only a small 
portion of Underwood's documentation is 
detailed here — the NFL sticks to a policy 
of denial: there is no drug problem. 
Just so, it pooh-poohs the helmet problem 



and rules problem. Underwood ends his 
treatment with nineteen proposals for 
changes in the rules and administration of 
football. But he is not hopeful for the 
game he loves. (One wonders if this is a 
game one should love.) 

His third installment (on the drug scene, 
summarized above) was introduced by a 
quotation of John Cole, Pulitzer Prize- 
winning former editor of the Maine Times , 
commenting on the game in which Ken 
Anderson and his best receiver were "taken 
out" by intentional injuries: "Football's 
order has collapsed and chaos reigns. The 
only constant in today's game is brutal- 
ity, and it is being fostered, not 
quelled. The game has reached the point 
where only violence holds, and only the 
most violent and most ruthless can 
survive. . . . With the best players gone, 
the game is no contest. I'm giving it up, 
after 40 years." 

Me, too, regretfully — with my glorious 
memories of the Boston Redskins of Cliff 
Battles and Bronko Nagurski's Chicago 
Bears, Except I will tune in now and 
then, clinically, to see what new brutal 
wrinkles have developed in America's 
"prototypical" game. 

— Charles Mclsaac 



Contributors 

Robert Bence, Assistant Professor of 
History and Political Science, led a group 
of ten students to the Sudan in summer 
1978 under the auspices of Crossroads/ 
Africa . 

Whlteford Cole, a freelance writer, 
resides in Brookline, Mass. 

W, Anthony Gengarelly, Assistant Professor 
of History and Political Science, is 
writing a book on the abridgment of civil 
liberties during the Red Scare after 
World War I. 

Charles Mclsaac, Director of Library 
Services, is a long-time National Football 
League watcher. 

Drawings are by Elise Cohen (NASC '79) and 
Beth Callagy (NASC '82).